Still checking the time on your phone? Alex Doak prescribes a proper timepiece from one of London’s new watch boutiques
THE CUSTOMISATION COLOSSUS
Nixon, 6 Newburgh St, W1
US brand Nixon is popular with both surfers and snowboarders. Gnarly sorts can enjoy an appointment-only watch customisation bar.
Pro tip: Nixon’s retro Base Backpacks give Herschel a run for its money.
THE ONLINE (AND OFFLINE) MARKET
Watchfinder has revolutionised the online sale of pre-owned luxury watches. Founded in 2002 in Maidstone, it now has boutiques in the City’s Royal Exchange and Bluewater.
Pro tip: WF now sells new watches, too.
THE NEW HOME OF HIP
Shinola, 13 Newburgh St, W1
Just like Steve Martin’s Jerk, it really does pay to know your sh*t from your Shinola. In fact, Detroit’s revived shoe-polish brand is so on-trend it hurts. Utilitarian, robust timepieces with a vintage feel? Check. Sideline in battered leather notebooks? Check. This is the first company in decades to produce watches at scale in the US, and has brought master watchmakers over from Switzerland to train its locally based staff in the art of fine watchmaking.
Pro tip: If the watches don’t do it for you (unlikely), the Horween horsehide journal jackets will.
THE SWISS POWERHOUSE
Watches Of Switzerland, 155 Regent St, W1
Billed as "not a store, but theatre", this is Europe’s largest watch showroom.
Pro tip: Play with the Minority Report-style interactive screen in the Calibre Room.
THE JET-SET SHOWROOM
Richard Mille, 90 Mount St, W1
Mille’s F1-inspired watches pioneer the use of carbon fibre, alloys and sci-fi design.
Pro tip: Fondle the jellyfish-like RM 56-02, made entirely of sapphire crystal.
THE INCOMING ACTION KINGS
IWC, 138 New Bond St, W1
Worn by F1 greats Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, IWC is about uncompromising German engineering excellence.
Pro tip: Treat your better half to IWC’s new Portofino Midsize women’s range.
(Shinola image: JamieMcGregorSmith)